Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Thoughts On The Arete Project- Ravenscar

The arete is the massive thing behind Steve. (copyright Steve Crowe)

The moors is currently seeing it's first race (that i've heard of) for a First ascent. Both me and Steve Ramsden (http://ram-man-selfindulgentdrivel.blogspot.com/2009/10/elusive-illusive-both.html) are trying to grab the FA of this beautiful piece of rock, which has seen attempts from many people over the years.

It's fair to say that Steve is currently 'ahead', with the moves linked on top rope and a couple of failed lead attempts. Whilst i've managed the upper crux sequence on a shunt, i'm yet to get a top rope down it and i'm still trying to decide whether to follow Steve's line or try a harder, more dirrect one. He'll certainly get the FA before I figure out a sequence for the direct, but perhaps it will make a better route?

The gear is another issue. Steve seems to have side-runners in Stratagem, which is logical and makes the route a 'nails hard and safe' type of route, but i'm wondering whether it's worth leaving it untill i'm good enough to do it on the lone 'cam of death' which will give the most impressive piece of rock in the moors the hugely inflated grade it deserves.

Who knows. Maybe Steve can push moors climbing forward by doing it and then we can get psyched from it and try a harder direct side-runnerless ascent?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Ravensdale- New Route and The White Scoop

Reunited with Dooge, we drove over to Ravensdale. Dooge led the Roof- crack on the right hand crack, which went at about E3 5c. A proper struggle, but surprisingly good. He got it second go as his first effort was met with a hold the size of a TV coming off in his hand and flying down the route after him. With a bit of care he managed to find the upper crack, with solid jams and good gear. The top crack is ace, but the escapability and poor rock at half height make it a bit worse.

I then got back on the White Scoop. decided to go for the top rope and got it clean. Pretty hard with a definite sequence. Dooge had a go and reckoned it was 6c, but I think it's probably 6b. Quite bold and sustained though. With the direct start it would be a really good E7/8. Dave seemed impressed with the quality of climbing. I didn't go for the lead, but we'll be back in a week or so.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Roseberry and Ravenscar arete linked.

Day one back in the moors. Linked a total choss route at roseberry (E6 5b) and the direct finish to Pasketti on ab (e6 6b).

Then crashed my bike on the way to Wainstones. Got to ravenscar and figured out the BETA for the arete. Well psyched. Did all the crux moves. Lets get on leaaaaddd. E8 7a anyone? Foykin cool moves, Steve ramsdens BETA seems to avoid the arete a bit but still three stars on wild pops between poor holds.

Allleeeezzzz, gonna go. :-)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Back in the Moors and Feeling Strong.

Just arrived back in a drying moorland village, with good food, good tea and a plethora of crags, full of potential. Hopefully i'll be getting out a lot.

Tomorrow i'll be off to Roseberry and sunday will be kepwick. Let's see how things go...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Frankie Reaches Enlightenment

I was sat pondering today, in between eating mash potato and doing a German presentation and suddenly the meaning of life became apparent. I'm not a Buddhist monk, although I have been forced to adopt a monkish haircut since this recession, but lots of things seemed to make sense.

I won't bore you with the details, but I have all of a sudden figured everything out. More important than what the answer is (i'll let you figure that out) is what it means. I've found a new will to work at my German, which I previously didn't have and a few new thoughts on climbing, which I can't wait to try out.
I think i'm going to be happy for ever. Rockfax guidebook in hand and a lifetime of glorious, untrodden routes in front- Rising above a plethora of peak chodes. Psyched.

Millstone and Lawrencefield- High Plains Drifter E4 6a

So a Manchester University MC meet was planned for the grit quarries above hathersage, meeting the Leeds Club and a few folk from Sheffield. It's always a bit of a sign when the MUMC is going to the peak that not much would get done and on Saturday this proved to be the case. Lots of people getting a bit more experience with leading and lots of people getting up the classic HVSs, E1s, E2s and even a couple of ascents of Time for Tea, but people in the main sticking to their comfort zones. I thought i'd go for the 'hard and safe' Coventry Street, managing to hold the dusty top, move my other hand up, then pop my feet off and take a large inverted whipper. Balls. At least it got my 'head in'.
Embankment Two, Solo

So on Sunday me and my trusty companion 'Dooge'- who is currently at Leeds Uni; departed to Lawrencefield, borrowing "Beastiality Phil's" guidebook. Dave flew up the (what I think is a very hard) E2, Suspense and then I had a little tootle up Boulevard- nice route. I was then further impressed with Great Peter, which I seconded Dave up and at this point we sat around and ate lots of biscuits.
Dave seemed quite happy with the day, but I wanted to get on Highplains Drifter. It takes a cool line out left from Boulevard, up what looks like (and is) a technical and steepish, bold face. Getting up to a massive ledge with a tree I continued up a brilliant sloping ramp to find some half-decent RPs and a piss-poor Peg. I had spent some time at the ledge, figuring out what the moves were going to be, and it was more or less as I had predicted, only with all the positive-looking holds being awful slopers. A bit of a sketch across and an alarming run-out got me to the sanctuary of a ledge and an easy plod up to the top.
An E3 at Stanage on Thursday.

I felt it was quite hard for E4, but I have had a lot of time out of trad and have turned into a scared Moose.

Monday, 8 March 2010

A Bit of Bouldering and Loss of Head

The University of Manchester annual dinner was realistically never going to provide a great platform for long days out on the hill putting up new winter routes. Never the less, I tried and failed to persuade people to get out.
So on the saturday I found my self at the Bowderstone after a long lie-in and a bit of drinking the previous night. The quality of the bouldering was superb and for the first time I was getting well established on some of the problems-proper. I soon got bored though and managed to get up to Hells Wall. We tried the classic classic E4, but used the dampness and lack of chalk as an excuse to tootle off. Luke then had a good go at Hells Wall, with limitted success. I'm probably stronger than i've ever been before, but chronically affraid. We conceded defeat on the sunday and after an even heavier drinking session decided to go staight to St. Bees. Absolutely superb rock and the girdle of the cliff looks fun!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Roseberry Collapse

A large section of one of the best crags in the Moors has fallen down. Whilst the classic E2 Offwidth 'Eliminator' and the quality HVS to the left have gone (this was the reason why Eliminator was becoming more of a chimney).
This now makes Roseberry almost entirely stable as there is nothing left to collapse and this was the last Loose part.
The routes on the main face which now remain are:
The Pasketti Alpinist- E5- 6a ***
Ascender- HVS 5b
Transcender- HVS+ 5b **
Whilst the cliff is probably stable on a massive scale now, i'd still be careful with the little bits left in the cracks- untill it gets cleaned up by the passage of many feet. Red is the Pasketti Alpinist, blue and green ar the two HVSs and the Black lines are unclimbed routes.
Roseberry is perhaps the moors' best kept secret, with a good handful of splitter cracks and the brilliant slab of The Pasketti Alpinist. The cliff is home to two of the Moors' poorer Last Great Problems, with the direct finish to The Pasketti Alpinist, which should weigh in at around E6 6b and the wall to the left which is now even more exposed and will probably be in the region of E7 6a, due to the extreme boldness and poor quality of rock.